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tv   [untitled]    March 16, 2011 6:00am-6:30am PDT

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>> hello, i am about to call the meeting to order. secretary housh: pres., others, roll call. i might note that commissioner
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caen is ill. president vietor: thank you. next item, please. secretary housh: the approval of the minutes. any commissioners? president vietor: any comments? the minutes are approved. next item. mr. secretary, i seek public comments here. secretary housh: i am sorry. public comments. members of the public may address the commission on matters there are within the commission's jurisdiction and are not on the agenda today. we have no speaker cards. president vietor: thank you. next item, please.
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secretary housh: next item, communications. i would like to call your attention to the new letters, which are highlighted. additionally, there is an events calendar, scheduling issues, as well as two written reports, if you have any questions about those. commissioner: on the reports, i have one comment and one question. on the waste water cip update, one thing that would be helpful, talking about the programs, there is a huge difference but not a lot of explanation as to what has changed. some of that you can figure out when you go through it, but a quick and erroneous conclusion could be that the program has grown out of control, and i think it will service all to
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have a couple of paragraphs to talk about what the migration was from one to the other. epo and then on the update on major developments, one thing i was curious about, the criteria for inclusion or exclusion of projects. >> steve richie, with water. this was about major developments that we could identify, and we actually were working for -- i guess i would say that the criteria that we used was were we aware of a project? that was a fundamental measure. so, for example, there was talk over time about the cow palace. nothing was a recent on that. so we did not include anything
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related to that. what we did include was what we have a readily available information for hi, -- what we did have readily available information for. vice president moran: and there were some cow palace's. there seemed to be some things that were not on hear it. it seems small. i think there is more activity going on. it is my understanding that we will do this from time to time. >> those are definitely within the envelope of what is expected in the customer service area, and we can ensure that we will get more with the management plan. that is when we will see real data. vice president moran: ok, two
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other comments on that. one, it talks about the ceqa process on individual projects when they come up. also, for the two projects that were highlighted, those were not things we would be doing. >> that is correct. vice president moran: and the final issue is the issue of palo alto, which we have focused on before, and one of the things that we noticed is that there was a huge increase in their projected water, and i think given the size of that community, it is important to note that it is one project, and as a water supply in,and they will need to deal with the developer about those water supplies -- and as a water supplier, they will need to deal
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with the developer. somehow, their huge percentage increase was somewhat untoward, and i just wanted to make sure that was clarified. thank you. commissioner: i had a question, too. it seems that many of these were moved to pending. i would like to know when we will be able to address them in the coming months or when you can come back to us and tell you -- tell us when you may be able to prepare the pieces. i guess those are the three. i know there were a couple for some time. >> right. we have been moving them from meeting to meeting and then moving them again, and i thought that was kind of unfair, thinking it was going to be happening if it was not. the part we are now hoping is that at your second meeting in
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april. we are working with an mou, but that is not an indefinite hold. it really is the first or second meeting in april. real estate is really part of the whole rearrangements of the real-estate department. i do not have a date on that, but it is certainly high on our list. commissioner: thank you. president vietor: great. anything else on this item? during none, next item, please. -- hearing none. secretary housh: other business. vice president moran: i have two requests. both are aimed at our resources acquisitions, and the first part of it is a request for staff suggestions as to a unit cost
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limits -- as to unit cost limits, so within the water enterprise, i would assume there is a different cap, versus conjunctive use, but i would like a proposal as to what reasonable caps should be, and that would be for all three water enterprises, and the second request is for some thinking from staff. if we are trying to put together research portfolios that are a combination, -- i think the answer may be yes, but i think we should think about it and articulate it. and, i guess, a third part, i would like early on an estimate as to how long that process will
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take to come back to the commission if it is going to be any significant length of time. i would like to entertain some objectives on that. part of what this comes from is that as we have been meeting and approving projects and budgets over time, i have been trucking costs, as you know, and for the water projects, they range from $500 per acre foot to a much higher level, and that is a huge difference. not all conservation projects and not all reclamation projects of vote -- are created equal, and we have to figure out how we can judge between those. i think we need to be thinking about that, and i would like to start that discussion. >> we can work on that.
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again, i think what we have been doing at your request is giving you what that per acre foot estimates is. we also discussed that if money is the only consideration, you would never do recycling plants in san francisco, because it is just cheaper. -- you would never do any recycling plans. not just cash or costs. there are things that this commission has chosen to do. vice president moran: and i fully support and understand that. i guess my concern is trying to find three bottom lines that make sense. the one we know how to measure. >> we have been telling you. we have chosen to be ok with that. vice president moran: well, we
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have, and we have not. some of this is after the fact. we now have a history as to what these things cost, and i do not know that we have been in a position where we say that this is what we want to purchase. here is where they fall in the cost continuing -- continuum. it has pretty much been after the fact reporting. if i were doing interim suggestions, it would probably take a regional level and maybe doubling it. lots of -- probably take a reasonable level and maybe doubling it. there are lots of ways of doing it. we have talked about the way we do it with other contracts, where that is kind of a double bottom line. some are worth up to 10% more. there are other ways of doing
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it. saying it comes above a threshold, that is a discussion. if it is below the threshold, no need for discussion, but if it goes above the threshold, let's talk about it. the process of doing that, we will and quantifying some. -- in the process of doing that, we will end up quantifying some. i just want to make sure we explicitly deal with this stuff, not after the fact. president vietor: it seems to me that this is sort of a strategic question. it has come up before, and we need some help from the staff perspective on creating these three different areas, if you will, around the economy, the social justice peace, the jobs -- the social justice piece and
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others, and then maybe some goals that we would like to work towards. we need to have some work in advance to be done, maybe this is something that would be for june or july or whenever that is. i do not want to suggest too far down the road, because i hear what you are saying, we want to be considering these projects up front when they come on line, but i think it is a big conversation, and i think there might be more that could be done on the staff side to address commissioner moran's concerns, the triple bottom lands -- lens. vice president moran: if, in the summer, we were able to have the
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preliminary work done that would allow was about a discussion, that would be fine. if it were going to take that long, i would suggest putting some market -- markers out that these need to make sense, and it may well be that in the summer, we will decide they did not make sense, but at least it is a marker in a place to start talking about it. >> i do not want to get us into a position by setting artificial sites by having limits on what we would have for the projects. we do not know what they're going to be. carefully, and not starting arguments with people that are unnecessary. we do not know what they are. there are some that will be less expensive. but it might avoid flooding in people's homes. others are more productive sounding because there is more avoidance of waste water where
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storm water, but no one cares, so there are a lot of things -- avoided a waste water or storm water -- avoidance of waste water or storm water. again, i do not want to set artificial sides because solar projects are more expensive and wind -- to set artificial sights because solar projects are more expensive than wind. vice president moran: the projects that are most difficult to deal with and that you are not supplying something and trying to figure out how to deal with it, so the measures are tougher, and i would expect that to be harder. >> there are things that are very expensive that you would not do but we have chosen to do,
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and i just want to make sure we do not get into some strange conversation that blows up in our face, for example. vice president moran: that is not an objective. on the other hand, i do not want to avoid the fundamental projects. president vietor: yes, so maybe we can at least work towards it. what some of these markers might be, and bring it back. great. thank you. we appreciate that, commissioner torres. any other commission business? next item, please. secretary housh: the next item would be a report from the manager. >> the first is an update on calaveras. you approve the calaveras dam replacement project, and it gave
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us authority -- you approved the project. they did file an appeal on the calaveras dam eir, and that will be before the board budget committee tomorrow and before the full board next week. it has several components. i will try to give you an update on those. the first is that we will be paying $2 million. the $2 million would be to reimburse them for lost revenues for additional expenses because of the work being done over there. in some cases, it is about not having as many school groups go to that park area as they used to, to very large areas, like where there is a bridge, and when it was dry in the summer, they used to drive across is, and now that it will be wet, they cannot do it, so now, they have to build a bridge in
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alameda, so this would give them $2 million to pay for things. the second thing is that they do not want to have half of their staff working at the headquarters with the traffic and everything, so it will be giving them space in the courtyard, and we will be putting aside $50,000 towards a trailer -- so it will be giving elsewhere. the third is that we have been in a month-to-month lease with the park district -- it will be giving them space elsewhere. the fourth is that they do not have a possible water system -- potable water system. it is hodgepodge. there is not a potable water
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area, and part of this is that we will provide them with a potable water source, and they will withdraw their challenge to the eir, and that will be before the board tomorrow. president vietor: a couple of questions. do they then become a customer of ours? >> we are not exactly sure how it is going to work. they may become an untreated water customer, and we would tell them how to treat it on- site, or they may become a treated water customer. we would reimburse them $30,000 per year for the purchase of water. president vietor: so if you could just keep us posted and
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let us know if they do become a customer? >> apart from our treatment -- the dam. president vietor: the $2 million, where does that money come from? >> the project account. commissioner: so from the taxpayers. >> and the ratepayers. commissioner: is this being built because there is water there now? >> there are two places where we cross the creek. one is a way that staff has used to cross in the creek. we are not sure that they absolutely need that. they could drive around and use the bridge that we are doing. it is a much more simple bridge. just for their trucks for some
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time during the year. it costs about $500,000. that is the point. commissioner: it is wet. >> that has been a major part of the discussion around calaveras dam, that it has been dry for many, many years, but we will have a wet creek, which will hopefully restore the fisheries. commissioner: ok, so it is hard to do when economists -- when it is wet. much clearer. >> another is about an employee be hired back in 2009, so i thought i would bring it to you. the newspaper does not typically give the full story. i am sure most of you recall. so i wanted to walk for the
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process of hiring, reform, and the speculation for reasons why he would apply. in 2009, he called to ask if there was work that we thought he would be eligible to do at the puc for a short amount of time, we checked wham.com and there was something. -- and we checked around, and there was something. we told him to apply for that position. just for you to know, we have had to go back and look, and we have hired about 70 people at the puc that would have project worked anywhere from two weeks to two years. usually, the process for hiring someone to do this temp work is fairly simple.we wanted to makes properly and efficiently done
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for him. what that means is he applied for what is called a registry. a utility specialist. they have to put in a resume, make sure they are qualified, go to the resources department. there were 12 people on the registry. 3 replied they were interested. two showed up for an interview. he was selected. he worked for about five weeks for us, and then the job was terminated because the job had been done. he was paid about 13.-- $13,000 for about five weeks of work, which is what a specialist makes. related to another property, the mayor of the area earlier than this, she had wanted a dog park, actually, that would use some unused land there, but in talking to korea and driving around her area, there were a number -- but in talking to her
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and driving around her area, there were a number of pieces of land. another was a property we have in el camino. it does not really front in el camino, and they were working through a general plan update for her area, and whether it is housing in the area or something else -- so that is the work that we would typically hire a consultant for that we could do this with a city staff person also, so that is what that man was hired to do. he did some research, visited the sites, did a variety of things, and issued a report for puc parcels. management said they were happy with the work. there is a pair of the
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speculation for why he would be interested -- there is apparently speculation for what he would be interested. i wanted to discuss the general issue, because it is one that will likely come up, and it is the question of buying back retirement credits. i am concerned that it could be viewed as breaking the rules. our retirement system in the city is not as straightforward as you would imagine. for example, when i started with the puc, i was temporary. back then, there were some people who stayed their entire 25-year career and never became employees. typically, many, many employees were involved, like bus drivers or custodians, and when there were smaller numbers, they just hired them. once he became a permanent employee, you could buy back the
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time -- once you became a permanent employee, so i could start buying back my seven years. the civil service list, i was not eligible for being in the retirement plan for those seven years. in the 1990's, the world's changed. we were then told that we should not have -- the rules changed. anybody after six months went into the retirement system, so there are thousands of employees who have been buying back their time since then, because they were not eligible originally for that time, and they can buy it back for appropriate work. they had done the work. they just were not eligible to buy it back. some were originally not eligible. that was changed in 2001, and so, it did not give them any additional years' service.
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if anything, what he was interested in doing was being able to get credit for the time that he had actually served. again, i am not sure that is what it is, but i am assuming that that is what the newspaper article which be about, and in my view -- that is what the newspaper article would be about. i am happy to take any questions. commissioner: are these more appropriate in a closed session as opposed to a public session? >> i do not think we have litigation risk here, because it is not on the agenda, if you ask questions, then the general manager should respond to them outside of the meeting instead of a long discussion on
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something that is not agendized. commissioner: is is a personnel issue? >> i do not think it is a personnel matter at this time. i think it is more a public relations issue. there is no dispute about your ability to hire temporary employees or if this is what the issue is about, eligibility and the retirement rules, that would be something that retirement would deal with. commissioner: i will have to recuse myself from any discussion, is what i am concerned about. >> from a discussion point of view, because this is not a agendized. it was really an information item to provide background -- because this is not agendized. president vietor: my understanding